Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Driver Used By Sam Snead for 17 Years Going to Auction Block

If you have a spare $250,000 (or more) lying around, you can be the proud, new owner of a driver that was used on the PGA Tour for 17 years by Sam Snead.

Yep, back in Snead's day you didn't trade in your driver every other weekend for the newest release by your club sponsor. You found a persimmon driver you loved, you stuck with it. And Snead stuck with his baby for 17 years, from 1936 through 1953.

The auctioneers, Heritage Auctions, say that this driver was used by Snead in more than 100 victories - many, obviously not all of them, PGA Tour wins. How did Snead get the driver? He took it out of the bag of fellow pro Henry Picard.

In a letter dated Nov. 12, 1993 (and in which he repeatedly misspells Picard's name), Snead told the story of the driver:

In 1936 I was signed with Dunlop, along with Henry Pickard (sic). We were at a tournament on the practice tee when I spotted this driver in Pickard's bag. I took it out and tried it and felt it and really liked it. Pickard said I could have it because it was too big for him. Pickard said that a club maker for Wilson by the name of Gansky made it.

At that time, some of Dunlop's clubs were made by Wilson.

Pickard said that he had paid $5.25 for it. I paid him that amount and took it with me.

I proceeded to win over 100 tournaments, including two Masters, one British Open and two P.G.A. Championships with this driver. I also won many long distance driving contests with it.

A few years after buying the driver, Pickard wanted to buy it back, and I said I wouldn't sell it for a million!

Description: Made by Wilson, name of Sam Snead and Wilson on head, Plain sole plate, dark brown head with black insert, head is cracked in neck with an added screw in the neck, also has an added screw in end of shaft on bottom of head and has lead weight in back of head.

I, Sam Snead, attest that the above-written information is true and accurate.

[signed] Sam Snead.

The letter is part of the auction lot. While Snead says in the letter he wouldn't sell it for a million dollars, his heirs are certainly willing.

Why did we say it would take at least $250,000 to win the driver? Because that's the minimum opening bid. Follow the auction here.

Last year, another auction of multiple Snead memorabilia brought in more than $1 million total.

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